Faroe Islands – Tórshavn

Free bus on the island!

 

We thoroughly enjoyed this brief visit to the Faroe islands (we had to be back on ship by 2.30pm) and was beginning to enjoy the light nights too.

When we arrived, we went to the tourist office and asked about the free buses. Yes, you don’t have to pay for their public transport on the Faroe Islands.  A group of us then traipsed to the bus stop “around the corner”, to catch the island bus.

As we waited, one lady told me she had been on two, around the world, cruises. One, one way and the other, (you’ve guessed it) the other way. On the second cruise, she knew a lot of the passengers from the first cruise. Can you imagine going on a cruise for three months? I can’t. Two weeks is quite enough. Most of the people on the cruise ship had done about “eight or nine cruises” although I suspect many had done more than that!

The evening before, we sat in the pub bar on the ship having found the Lido (dancing) Lounge too dull. All ballroom/line dancing. We like to bop to pop music and have a laugh. Anyway, a chap who dines with us joined us and we watched the horizon stay light as the night went on. “It’s still light!” was laughingly repeated constantly. We all sat at the bar enjoying the cruising, drinks and company. This was when we really started to enjoy ourselves.

Back to Faroe Islands. We went to catch the bus and did a circuit of the island (FOC) and eventually disembarked in the north of the area at the local cultural centre called the Nordic House that offers theatre, arty exhibitions, dance and music performances in a contemporary space. This was an interesting insight because it exhibited a selection of photos which spanned a year of life on the Faroes.

The Nordic House in the distance

 

After that, we walked towards the town, through a park and just had a wander. We like to do a mix of tours and independent travel when we participate in a cruise.  The amount of statues around Torshavn is fascinating and I photographed a few.

Tórshavn, on Streymoy Island, is the capital city of the Faroe Islands and the smallest capital city in Europe. It also is known for the wooden turf-roofed houses and Tórshavn Cathedral, rebuilt in the 19th century. Local shops, pubs and restaurants are in around the main shopping strip, Niels Finsens gøta.

Torshavn – Harbour

 

Obviously, we found a couple of pubs and enjoyed some local beer then wandered around the harbour.  Thoroughly enjoyed Tórshavn, and our walk but we had to be back on the ship mid afternoon. Hopefully, we will return and stay longer next time.

By the way, when we returned to the ship, we enjoyed a late lunch. Didn’t usually bother with lunch because of the large breakfast but on this day we decided to indulge. Anyway, only had a plate of salad just to keep me going. Two women joined our table and all was well until my husband innocently mentioned the free bus around the island. They had just returned from their rather expensive island tour. Well, they looked furious. “Free bus! Free bus!” The woman spluttered as she was stuffing a huge plate of chips into her mouth. Oops…tumbleweed… for the remained of lunch. Well you can’t get on with every passenger, I suppose. ☺️

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Stornoway

Stornoway

 

Stornoway is on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides of Scotland. This area has a traditional mix of businesses such as fishing, Harris Tweed and farming and a population of around 6,000 and this is about a third of the island’s population.

Not a huge amount at Stornoway but it is pretty in parts.  It has a reasonable sized town with a library (usefully with free WiFi), a castle, harbour, a pretty park and another circular walk “I am NOT going to walk miles again.” However, we were only there for a day so probably a little unfair to judge.

The walk to Lews Castle turned out to be pleasant enough and not too exacting, unlike yesterday’s never ending walk. One good factor was the weather. Honestly, it was like being on the Mediterranean. Plus the people are friendly and shockingly, I could even understand their Scottish tongue. Apart from the two chaps, in the library who were speaking Gallic. Show offs!!

Lews Castle

 

As we examined the impressive Lews Castle we decided to carry on walking the circular walk which was lovely, but soon realised that we hadn’t a clue how long the walk was. Helpfully, the map didn’t give this vital piece of information. I even asked a couple, also walking along, if they knew, but they hadn’t a clue either. So after a mile or so, we gave up and strolled back.  Had to be back in a few hours so decided not to keep 800 people waiting for us and strolled to the town area for a much needed cuppa.

We went into a public house and a bored bar lady informed me that they didn’t do coffee or tea so I stupidly settled for a coke which was warm, flat but I gratefully drank it because I was thirsty. The pub was, incidentally, one of the most depressing places I’ve ever been in so we left the, what I can only assume, the few permanent fixtures (customers) and headed back to the town.

We didn’t stay long, but used the free wifi in the library and then caught the tender back to the ship for dinner, etc.

I left Scotland feeling that I would like to explore the country properly as it is truly beautiful. Also, it means I can complete the splendid walk, mentioned above.

Next stop, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands.

Tobermory

A beautiful area. Lots to do so we wandered around the main street. Took some photos and then decided to do the whisky distillery tour. This tour that lasted about an hour with a glass of whisky at the end. Never realised you should add a few drops of water to whisky which helps the flavours to disperse onto your tongue. Not a whisky drinker but it was a lot nicer than the usual whisky. Guess I’ve been  drinking it wrong all these years.

After this we went on a lovely, if a little arduous cliff top walk which was, I was unreliably informed 5k, by the tourist office woman. Flipping heck! More like 10km. Challenging terrain in places but well worth doing. We did walk around a small loch too. The landscape is stunning, so well worth the effort. Never been so grateful for a pint and cheese and pickle sandwich at the end of the walk. Also, it was great to practice photography with my new camera. The camera (Nikon) worried me a bit at first because it is new and a little posher than my usual choice of camera. I’m getting used to taking the lens cap off now though, and fiddling with the lens before I deem it good enough to snap, I mean photograph.

Walking…

A fab day out and beginning to understand why people love to travel and explore the Scottish highlands.  Tomorrow we will be arriving in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.

 

Falmouth

I recently went on a trip to Falmouth (Cornwall), Tobermory (Isle of Mull, Scotland), Stornoway (Isle of Lewis, Scotland), Torshavn (Faroe Islands), Akureyri (Iceland), Isafjordur (Iceland), Reykjavik (Iceland), and finally Dublin (Ireland). It was a fabulous and fun trip interspersed with funny and exciting events which I plan to share here (rather than just boring facts about the places) through a series of blog posts. So here goes…

Falmouth

The beautiful Cornish coastline welcomed us as we cruised towards the River Fal. I had forgotten what a beautiful, lovely area Cornwall is. Falmouth is the gateway to the River Fal and is known for art galleries and maritime heritage. The area also has some fantastic beaches, shops, pubs, restaurants and known for natural beauty and ideal for walks and family activities. As well as all of the above, it has the world’s largest natural deep-water harbour and is the country’s first and last port.

We spent a wonderful day exploring the harbour, independent galleries, shops and of course, pubs. Of course, we spotted a world famous pasty shop and had to have one. It was delicious!

View of Falmouth (the arty pic. lol)

BEERWOLF BOOKS

This pub had been recommended to us and I can see why. It is a pub with a book shop inside, which is my idea of bliss. People were reading, playing chess, and drinking some amazing beer and perusing the books.

After visiting the above, we had a quick look around the local art gallery, some more interesting shops and galleries and then into another cool pub with copious amounts of beer. By this time I was feeling jaded so settled for a coffee. We gleefully spotted an empty table outside and plonked ourselves down. It was then, I spotted a tiny canvas bag by our table. I was just starting to have thoughts about it being a bomb, when a bloke appeared grumbling under his breath and so we quickly made noises about how we didn’t realise it was his table. We truly didn’t. He then gave us permission to sit there anyway. Jolly nice of him. Looking back, I think he left his bag there to reserve the table and then went and got a drink because he wasn’t in the bar when we were getting our drinks. Flipping hipsters.

I turned away to watch the even happier people in the cool cafe opposite only to see two aging hippies proudly showing off their hairy armpits. Oh joy.

We finished our drinks and walked back through the town towards the beaches and took some great photos of the pretty coastline. An enjoyable start to the holiday and here is a picturesque view of Falmouth during the evening back on the ship. The next stop was Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland.

Falmouth

Thanks for reading the #mishmashblog and don’t forget to follow!

 

Musings about travel, health, Eastbourne and social media…

Travel

Further to my previous “update” post, I will soon be off on my travels, as I’ve saved most of my annual leave for the summer.

First, I’m going on a trip to Iceland via Cornwall and  Scotland and will report on my trip. I won’t just focus on the places I visit, but add some musings on how I feel about various experiences. I’ve recently acquired a new camera, so there should be some photography too. After that, I’m not sure where I will travel to so watch this space.

Health

Unfortunately, a friend of mine has had bad news about his health and this has reminded me how important it is to enjoy life and try to be healthy. Certainly puts things into perspective doesn’t it?

Fitness

The fitness thing has been wobbly this month, although I’m now back in the gym most days. Had a few days break due to some stifling hot weather, in England, and feel so much better now I’m working out again. I have a new trainer who seems enthusiastic and very good on technique. Hopefully, the gym will be good on holibob and the plan is to use it and get some walking in too!

Recently, been able to run the 5k on the treadmill and do some if not most of my new workout. Everything is a little slow, but fitness is slowly improving.

Eastbourne

Recently, enjoyed a birthday trip to Eastbourne. It was incredibly hot and we spent the first hour or so checking out the town. I bought some posh trainers, half price, in the sale. Don’t you just love it when that happens? Also, stopped at the local Wetherspoon pub and had a glass of fizz. Afterwards walked on the beach eating obligatory ice cream and later, had a cup of tea and cake. It was a glorious birthday, followed by a jolly nice meal with the family.

Eastbourne

 

Social Media

I’ve recently become irritated by the irrelevant content on my Facebook feed and feel that the contemptuous attitude for people who think differently, is flipping inexcusable. So I’ve permanently unfollowed people (who, oddly enough, seem lovely in real life) and deleted the Facebook app off my phone. A family member has done this and highly recommended it. Are you thinking of doing this? So much of the stuff on Facebook is without depth or knowledge nowadays, or just plain fake, so it is not worth wasting any precious time reading it. Although I do business social, I’m now spending less of my own time on FB. Blogging is my new interest for sure. Rant over.

Tip.. the magazine The Week is a good read as it gives the week’s news in a concise manner and informs on current affairs. (This isn’t sponsored btw.)

I will blog soon about my travels and thank you for reading. Any follows are gratefully appreciated.

 

 

How boosting energy will make you run for your life… Part 2

Part 2 – Suggestions on Energy and Motivation…

The vital point is to have enough sleep, as discussed in the previous blog. The other important point is to get lots of exercise. It is ironic how this seems to energise me. Often if I feel sleepy, a walk will help cure any sluggishness.

Upbeat music often cheers me up and procures some enthusiasm for the day ahead. Even on a Monday! Often, if I’m feeling tired, I will put some lively music on and it helps wake me up. Also, if I’m going on a run, music facilitates a good energy boost. Whether it lasts is another matter but, it certainly improves my performance. Sometimes, I may just put some music on and sing along and or dance, which can be embarrassing when someone comes home and catches you, as recently happened to me. Oh well, who cares? 

Sometimes a mental boost such a doing a crossword or catching up on emails help too. In fact, writing this blog often inspires and interests me as I can research and read about topics that fascinate me and hopefully, you as well. BBC Radio 4, or any animated radio show or podcast, is a good first thing, as it helps you think about current affairs and gives perspective to your own life.

Although this seems counterintuitive, often tackling a task can motivate and give energy. Sometimes, I set an alarm on my mobile for 40 minutes and do a blast of cleaning. A boring job, but it does feel great when it is done. The same with gardening. As you watch the grass and weeds grow it is easy to feel overwhelmed, but recently I spent a day cleaning, then weeding and mowing the lawn and felt quite accomplished afterwards.

This leads to my next point, and that is to get close to nature! Go on a walk in the countryside and enjoy the fresh air and discover new surroundings. Going with family or friends is fun, but I find walking alone (with Oscar the borrowed dog) helps me relax as I explore woodlands and countryside trails. I’ve managed to find my way back home, as well without getting lost lately, and as I have a dreadful sense of direction, this is a miracle, I can tell you. 

Reading helps because it makes you think about something different. It can help you discover new interests too. Often, I find Pinterest or even YouTube is great for this as well.

Although, having mentioned social media, recently I have taken a step back from it, as I am finding the content quite benile and without depth. Unfortunately, this is due to the UK election, but I’m beginning to lose interest in Facebook, etc. I think you get more depth of content from books, documentaries and so on. Turn off any devices long before bedtime because the light stops you from sleeping.

Lastly, mindfulness and meditation are said to be good for wellbeing and energy. Ha hah something I need to try!

Let me know, in the comments, below, if you have any ideas 💡 that work for you.

Thank you for reading my musings about how to get more energy and sleep.

Sum up:

Sleep enough

Exercise

Music

Sing and or Dance!

Mental boost like a crossword

Listen to a podcast

Time yourself and clean

Gardening

Borrow a dog and go for a walk

Read a book

Mindfulness

Meditate

 

 

How boosting energy will make you run for you life…

Part 1 – Sleep

I’ve been poorly with a virus after weeks struggling with energy levels. So how do you improve energy levels and therefore fitness?

Having read various articles and papers by experts, plus watched some really interesting documentaries, I’ve decided to collate some points of interest.

The first point is you need to get enough sleep and most of us do not. The UK is known to be a sleep deprived nation. Insomniac Michael Mosley (Presenter of the documentary The Truth about Sleep) confesses that he usually wakes every night at 4 am and reads for a bit until he is able to sleep. So he investigated why we are so sleep deprived.  It seems easier to sleep when you are younger, but harder as life goes on.

The Sleep On-set Latency Test

To find out if you are sleep deprived, see if you can nod off in the middle of the afternoon. Hold a metal spoon over a metal tray and see how long you can hold the spoon. If it drops before ten minutes, then you are sleep deprived. If before five minutes, then you have severe sleep deprivation.

How Much Rest Do We Need? 

Apparently, you should get between eight to nine hours sleep, but many do not achieve this. In fact, as a nation, we sleep 1-2 hours less than 60 years ago. When we do hit the sack, our quality of sleep is worse and a third of us suffer from insomnia.

Caffeine and alcohol have a diverse effect on our sleep patterns and may cause snoring which, disrupts the partner’s sleep as well.

Sleeping pills are not the answer which is no surprise. They may possibly help for a few days but can be addictive as you build up a tolerance.

The biggest surprise, for me, is sleep deprivation can cause health issues such a Type 2 diabetes and obesity. This shocked me. Dr Helen Scott, from the University of Leeds has been researching this:

“We know that a lack of sleep alters different hormones that are involved in how we perceive appetite and hunger,” she explains.

“So we get more of the hormones that cause us to feel hungry and less of the ones that cause us to feel full.

“There.. [are].. some big studies suggest that people who sleep too little, and indeed those who sleep too much,…it’s associated with the development of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.”

 

Mosley’s documentary about sleep, investigated a few solutions which you may like to try…

THE TECHNIQUES:

1. Breathing.
Controlling your breathing can reduce stress. This approach is known as 4-2-4
– Breathe in deeply through your nose while mentally counting to 4.
– Hold your breath to a count of 2.
– Breathe out through your mouth to a count of 4.
– Try doing this for 3 to 4 minutes. It should feel relaxing.

2. Have a warm bath or shower 1-2 hours before going to bed, then allow yourself to cool. The act of cooling should trigger sleepiness

3. Eat two Kiwi fruit an hour before bed. A study done over 4 weeks found that this improved quality and quantity of sleep.

4. Remove electronic devices from the bedroom and turn off all screens at least an hour before bed. That includes TV, computers, mobile phone and all social media.

5. If you are a regular drinker then try skipping alcohol for a few days. Although it may help you go to sleep, alcohol also tends to disrupt sleep

6. Go for a 20 minute walk or a run first thing in the morning. The early morning light should help reset your internal clock, making sleep easier.

There is some science behind no. 2. A warm bath will increase your temperature and then drop when you experience cold air. This helps you to fall asleep.

Put away devices, because the blue light, is a good and vital point (that I don’t always follow myself). Plus alcohol will disrupt your sleep. Damn it!

Do the sleep challenge here.

How do you get enough sleep? Go for a walk, like Oscar?

More about gaining energy in Part 2…